Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Rise Above": From Song of Ascent to Spiderman, it's still prayer. Ask NT Wright!

"and You say 'Rise above!'
I can´t, I can´t..."

So of Christ calls us to live an ascended life,
how is that prayer a response?
It's just honest.
Something Bono is in favor of (see "Bono audio: God at the 9" Nails Gig".

The biblical psalms of ascent are about ascending to Jerusalem on pilgrimage..but sometimes, some days..
there is descent on the ascent.

Or worse:

N.T. Wright says it best.  Our ministry is based on the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, as the latter is most often ignored in our churches.  "What happens when you downplay the ascension?, " Wright asks. "The answer is that the church  expands to fill the vacuum" -Mike Erre, "Death by Church," p. 246

Elsewhere in Wright:

And we all too easily suppose that the message is: Jesus is going off to heaven for ever, and one day we’ll go and join him there. And that would be to miss the whole point of the Ascension, here and elsewhere in the New Testament. (link)

It may have been officially decided long ago that the promised "meditative, pilgrimage" U2 album "Songs of Ascent"  (see  "Bono has been reading Eugene Peterson..again" and "new U2 Song (of Ascent?) 'Sing yourself right off your feet')

would be dropped  and  absorbed into other projects, especially the less,..uh, spiritual.. and far more infamous.. "Spiderman: Turn off the dark" project.
One theory is "Rise Above" is one of those ascent songs that descended elsewhere.  Of course the lyric reads as prayer...Bono himself has said all their lyrics can..

And prayed this way, it's Romans 7-ish..
which will preach 
(see "Radiohead on Romans 7," "Pastor Neil Young on Romans  7" and Lou Reed preaches Romans 7)

..but uplifting in a  Romans 8ish way...

Note on lyrics: on the 'not them" theme in U2, see  the "us vs. them" Jeremiah sneer of Dylan, and
no "them," only "us" and You, too, are us...not them)

Also note: Bono has encouraged us to "Rise Up" before..(see paul and bruce rise up..._


and You say "Rise above"
Open your eyes up.
and You say "Rise above
I can´t, I can´t...

How long will it take
Before these feelings go away?
How much longer do I wait?
Are there any real answers, anyway?
Silence in a crowded room,
Louder than the loudest tune.
I hang on your every word.

and You say "Rise above"
Open your eyes up.
and You say "Rise above"
I can´t, I can´t...

I miss You in everything,
I was too fast travelling to take You in.
I know silence is no crime,
I just wish I could hear You fill it up one more time.
Yes, I know what You say to me,
Exactly what You say to me,
But I still hang on every word

and You say "Rise above"
Open your eyes up.
and You say "Rise above"
I can´t, I can´t...

In a time of treason
Is there time for trust?
When there´s no "them:
There´s only "us"
When it is time for reason
Has your heart had enough?
Is there time to let go
And rise above?

And you say rise above.
Open your eyes to love.
And you say rise above.
I can´t, I can´t...

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